Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Hạ Long Bay (Vietnamese: Vịnh Hạ Long, about this sound listen, literally: "descending dragon bay") is a Unesco World Heritage site, and a popular travel destination, located in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam.

Christ of the Abyss in Italy

Christ of the Abyss (Italian: "Il Cristo degli Abissi") is a submerged bronze statue of Jesus Christ, the original of which is located in the Mediterranean Sea off San Fruttuoso between Camogli and Portofino on the Italian Riviera.

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Brazil

The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park (Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses) is located in Maranhão state, in northeastern Brazil, just east of the Baía de São José.

Panjin Red Beach in China

Panjin (simplified Chinese: 盘锦; traditional Chinese: 盤錦; pinyin: Pánjǐn) is a prefecture-level city and a major oil production centre of Liaoning province, People's Republic of China.

Glass Beach, California, U.S.A.

Glass Beach is a beach in MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg, California that is abundant in sea glass created from years of dumping garbage into an area of coastline near the northern part of the town.

Showing posts with label Amazing places around earth. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Amazing places around earth. Show all posts

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Gaiola Bridge, Naples, Italy

Gaiola Island is one of the minor islands of Naples, Italy; it is offshore of Posillipo and gives its name to the Underwater Park of Gaiola (Parco Sommerso di Gaiola), a protected marine area.

The island takes its name from the cavities that dot the coast of Posillipo (from the Latin cavea, "little cave", and then through the dialect "Caviola"). 

Originally, the small island was known as Euplea, protector of safe navigation, and was the site of a small temple.

The island is very close to the coast, reachable with a few strokes of swimming. 

It is assumed that originally it was nothing more than an extension of the promontory opposite and was artificially separated only at a later time at the behest of Lucullus.

In the 17th century the island was virtually littered with Roman factories, while, two centuries later, the island served as a battery in defense of the Gulf of Naples.

At the beginning of the 19th century, the island was inhabited by a hermit, nicknamed "The Wizard", who lived thanks to the almsgiving of fishermen. 

Soon after, the island saw the construction of the villa that occupies it today and which was at one time owned by Norman Douglas, author of Land of the Siren. 

In the 1.920s there was a cable car that connected the island to the mainland.

Naples's population has considered Gaiola a "cursed island", which with its beauty hides a "restless fate". 

The reputation came about because of the frequent premature death of its owners. 

For example, in the 1.920s, it belonged to the Swiss Hans Braun, who was found dead and wrapped in a rug; a little later, his wife drowned in the sea. 

The next owner was the German Otto Grunback, who died of a heart attack while staying in the villa. 

A similar fate befell the pharmaceutical industrialist Maurice-Yves Sandoz, who committed suicide in a mental hospital in Switzerland; its subsequent owner, a German steel industrialist, Baron Karl Paul Langheim, was dragged to economic ruin by wild living. 

The island has also belonged to Gianni Agnelli, who suffered the deaths of many relatives, and to Paul Getty, who endured the kidnapping of a grandson. 

The last private owner of the island was Gianpasquale Grappone, who was jailed.

Newspapers talked again about the "Gaiola Malediction" in 2.009, after the murder of Franco Ambrosio and his wife Giovanna Sacco, who owned a villa opposite the island.

The island is now property of the Campania region.

Santorini, Greece

Santorini (Greek: Σαντορίνη, pronounced [sandoˈrini]), classically Thera /ˈθɪrə/, and officially Thira (Greek: Θήρα [ˈθira]); is an island in the southern Aegean Sea, about 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Greece's mainland. It is the largest island of a small, circular archipelago which bears the same name and is the remnant of a volcanic caldera. 

It forms the southernmost member of the Cyclades group of islands, with an area of approximately 73 km2 (28 sq mi) and a 2011 census population of 15,550. 

The municipality of Santorini comprises the inhabited islands of Santorini and Therasia and the uninhabited islands of Nea Kameni, Palaia Kameni, Aspronisi, and Christiana. 

The total land area is 90.623 km2 (34.990 sq mi). Santorini is part of the Thira regional unit.

Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic explosion that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created the current geological caldera. 

A giant central, rectangular lagoon, which measures about 12 by 7 km (7.5 by 4.3 mi), is surrounded by 300 m (980 ft) high, steep cliffs on three sides. 

The main island slopes downward to the Aegean Sea. 

On the fourth side, the lagoon is separated from the sea by another much smaller island called Therasia; the lagoon is connected to the sea in two places, in the northwest and southwest. 

The depth of the caldera, at 400m, makes it possible for all but the largest ships to anchor anywhere in the protected bay; there is also a newly built marina at Vlychada, on the southwestern coast. The island's principal port is Athinias. 

The capital, Fira, clings to the top of the cliff looking down on the lagoon. 

The volcanic rocks present from the prior eruptions feature olivine and have a small presence of hornblende.

It is the most active volcanic centre in the South Aegean Volcanic Arc, though what remains today is chiefly a water-filled caldera. 

The volcanic arc is approximately 500 km (310 mi) long and 20 to 40 km (12 to 25 mi) wide. 

The region first became volcanically active around 3–4 million years ago, though volcanism on Thera began around 2 million years ago with the extrusion of dacitic lavas from vents around the Akrotiri.

The island is the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history : the Minoan eruption (sometimes called the Thera eruption), which occurred some 3600 years ago at the height of the Minoan civilization. 

The eruption left a large caldera surrounded by volcanic ash deposits hundreds of metres deep and may have led indirectly to the collapse of the Minoan civilization on the island of Crete, 110 km (68 mi) to the south, through a gigantic tsunami. 

Another popular theory holds that the Thera eruption is the source of the legend of Atlantis.

The Cyclades are part of a metamorphic complex that is known as the Cycladic Massif. 

The complex formed during the Miocene and was folded and metamorphosed during the Alpine Orogeny around 60 million years ago. 

Thera is built upon a small, non-volcanic basement that represents the former non-volcanic island, which was approximately 9 by 6 km (5.6 by 3.7 mi). 

The basement rock primarily comprises metamorphosed limestone and schist, which date from the Alpine Orogeny. 

These non-volcanic rocks are exposed at the Profitis Ilias Mountains, Mesa Vouno, the Gavrillos ridge, Pyrgos, Monolithos, and the inner side of the caldera wall between Cape Plaka and Athinios.

The metamorphic grade comprises a blueschist facies, which results from tectonic deformation by the subduction of the African Plate beneath the Eurasian Plate. 

Subduction occurred between the Oligocene and the Miocene, and the metamorphic grade represents the southernmost extent of the Cycladic blueschist belt.

Volcanism on Santorini is due to the Hellenic Trench subduction zone southwest of Crete. The oceanic crust of the northern margin of the African Plate is being subducted under Greece and the Aegean Sea. which comprises thinned continental crust. 

The subduction compels the formation of the Hellenic arc, which includes Santorini and other volcanic centres, such as Methana, Milos, and Kos.

The island is the result of repeated sequences of shield volcano construction followed by caldera collapse.

The inner coast around the caldera is a sheer precipice of more than 300 m drop at its highest, and exhibits the various layers of solidified lava on top of each other, and the main towns perched on the crest. 

The ground then slopes outwards and downwards towards the outer perimeter, and the outer beaches are smooth and shallow. Beach sand colour depends on which geologic layer is exposed; there are beaches with sand or pebbles made of solidified lava of various colours: the Red Beach, the Black Beach, the White Beach, etc. 

The water at the darker coloured beaches is significantly warmer because the lava acts as a heat absorber. Santorini has a group of islands. 

Those islands are named, Thera, Thirasia, Aspronisi, Palea, and Nea Kameni. 

They were are created by volcanoes and are located in the Aegean Sea just north of Crete.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Lençóis Maranhenses National Park in Brazil

The Lençóis Maranhenses National Park (Parque Nacional dos Lençóis Maranhenses) is located in Maranhão state, in northeastern Brazil, just east of the Baía de São José, between 02º19’—02º45’ S and 42º44’—43º29’ W. 

It is an area of low, flat, occasionally flooded land, overlaid with large, discrete sand dunes. It encompasses roughly 1500 square kilometers, and despite abundant rain, supports almost no vegetation. 

The park was created on June 2, 1.981. 

It was featured in the Brazilian film The House of Sand. Kadhal Anukkal, a song from an Indian film Endhiran starred by Rajnikanth was also shot here.

Located on the eastern coast of the state of Maranhão by the banks of the Preguiças River, the park embraces the municipalities of Humberto de Campos, Primeira Cruz, Santo Amaro and Barreirinhas, the latest serving as the main jumping off point into the protected park.

There are several regular bus/truck routes between Barreirinhas and São Luís, Brazil (Maranhão's capital), a distance of about 260 km. 

There are also air taxis from São Luís to Barreirinhas. 

The Rio Preguiças river connects the park to Atins, a city at the edge of the park. 

The National Park is quite extensive and has no access roads. 

Because of the nature of the park's protected status, most vehicles are not permitted access. 

Entrance to the park is made exclusively by 4 wheel drive trucks. 

Escorted trekking trips and tours are offered by Adventure Life, Bespoke Brazil, and Pantanal Adventures.

Composed of large, white, sweeping dunes, at first glance Lençóis Maranhenses looks like an archetypal desert. In fact it isn't actually a desert. 

Lying just outside the Amazon Basin, the region is subject to a regular rain season during the beginning of the year. 

The rains cause a peculiar phenomenon: fresh water collects in the valleys between sand dunes, spotting the desert with blue and green lagoons that reach their fullest between july and september.

The area is also surprisingly home to a variety of fish which, despite the almost complete disappearance of the lagoons during the dry season, have their eggs brought from the sea by birds.

The national park status serves only as a means of protecting the area's ecology; consequently many people are park residents, as is also the case with nearby Jericoacoara.

The inhabitants of the park work primarily as fishermen during the rainy season. 

During the dry season, many leave for neighboring regions to work small plots of land.

Ha Long Bay in Vietnam

Hạ Long Bay (Vietnamese: Vịnh Hạ Long, about this sound listen, literally: "descending dragon bay") is a Unesco World Heritage site, and a popular travel destination, located in Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam. 

Administratively, the bay belongs to Hạ Long City, Cẩm Phả town, and part of Vân Đồn District. 

The bay features thousands of limestone karsts and isles in various sizes and shapes. Hạ Long Bay is a center of a larger zone which includes Bái Tử Long bay to the northeast, and Cát Bà islands to the southwest. 

These larger zones share similar geological, geographical, geomorphological, climate, and cultural characters.

Hạ Long Bay has an area of around 1,553 km2, including 1,960–2,000 islets, most of which are limestone. 

The core of the bay has an area of 334 km2 with a high density of 775 islets.

The limestone in this bay has gone through 500 million years of formation in different conditions and environments. 

The evolution of the karst in this bay has taken 20 million years under the impact of the tropical wet climate.

The geo-diversity of the environment in the area has created biodiversity, including a tropical evergreen biosystem, oceanic and sea shore biosystem.

Hạ Long Bay is home to 14 endemic floral species and 60 endemic faunal species.

Historical research surveys have shown the presence of prehistorical human beings in this area tens of thousands years ago. 

The successive ancient cultures are the Soi Nhụ culture around 18,000–7000 BC, the Cái Bèo culture 7000–5000 BC and the Hạ Long culture 5,000–3,500 years ago.

Hạ Long Bay also marked important events in the history of Vietnam with many artifacts found in Bài Thơ Mout, Đầu Gỗ Cave, Bãi Cháy.

500 years ago, Nguyễn Trãi praised the beauty of Hạ Long Bay in his verse Lộ nhập Vân Đồn, in which he called it "rock wonder in the sky".

In 1.962, the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism of North Vietnam listed Hạ Long Bay in the National Relics and Landscapes publication.

In 1.994, the core zone of Hạ Long Bay was listed by Unesco as a World Heritage site according to criterion vii, and listed for a second time according to criterion viii.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Cathedral Cove, Coromandel Peninsula,New Zealand

Cathedral Cove is arguably one of the most picturesque spots (and there are many) in The Coromandel Peninsula.

From beautiful Hahei Beach you can walk to Cathedral Cove, where a naturally formed archway deserves photographic attention.

From the north end of the beach, a one hour walking track leads along the cliff top and then descends to the Cove. 

Here a gigantic arched cavern passes through a white rock headland to join two secluded coves. 

The cathedral like arch gives whole area an air of grandeur. 

The beach is sandy with shady pohutukawa trees along the foreshore a perfect place for a picnic and a swim.

Just off the beach at Cathedral Cove is a large pinnacle of pumice breccia rock known as 'Te Hoho'. 

Over centuries this has been sculpted by wind and water it now looks like the prow of a large ship steaming into the beach.

If you prefer a slightly shorter walk (about 1.5 hours return), start from the car park at the end of Grange Road in Hahei,turn left just after the Hahei shops.

For snorkellers and scuba divers, Cathedral Cove Marine Reserve provides a visual feast of sponge gardens, reef systems and marine life to observe.

This recreation reserve, gifted to the nation in the 1.980s by Vaughan and Doreen Harsant, boasts some of New Zealand’s most spectacular coastal scenery. 

A walking track gives access to Gemstone Bay, Stingray Bay and the beautiful sandy beaches at Cathedral Cove separated by a rock arch. 

Although this track is well graded, there are some hill slopes so allow plenty of time for the walk, wear appropriate footwear, and take food and water with you.

The track drops steadily from the car park into a valley where a side loop track takes you through a puriri grove and then back onto the main track. 

Alternatively, you can take a side track down to Gemstone Bay which has a bouldery beach and snorkel trail or, a little further on, another side track to Stingray Bay.

Stingray Bay has some large boulders with a beautiful sandy beach beyond. 

Special features are a sea cave and honeycomb weathering on the cliff face across the bay. 

Please note the north-western end of the beach at Stingray Bay is closed due to the danger of falling rocks and debris from the cliffs above. 

Visitors are advised not to use this end of the beach or adjacent waters. 

Signs and markers are in place to identify and warn people of the danger area.

Back on the main track, you climb out of the valley up to a high point overlooking the coastline. Stop, catch your breath and admire the view of the offshore islands. 

The track then crosses pasture and scrubland before entering pine forest with a good understorey of native shrubs. 

From here, it is all downhill to Cathedral Cove and even though this means there is a climb back off the beach for the return journey, it is well worth it to experience the beauty of the place.
Please take care when walking through the arch separating the two beaches at Cathedral Cove. 

Rockfall hazards exist in and around the arch and could occur at any time due to ongoing natural weathering and erosion. 

A management regime is in place to monitor the condition of the arch to make it as safe as possible.

There is a walking track from the western end of Hahei beach up to Cathedral Cove car park to connect with the track to Cathedral Cove. 

Allow an extra 20 - 30 minutes for this walk.

Beautiful Landscapes of Faroe Islands in Denmark

Situated in the heart of the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic at 62°00’N, the Faroe Islands lie northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway. 

The archipelago is composed of 18 islands covering 1399 km2 and is 113 km long and 75 km wide, roughly in the shape of an arrowhead

Marked by dramatic landscapes where earth meets sea, the Faroe Islands, where the capital is inhabited by only 19,000 people, is one of the most stunning locations in the northern hemisphere.

The 18 island archipelago is located between Iceland, Norway and Scotland and has been a self-governing territory of Denmark since 1.948.

The Vikings had a lasting impact on the islands. 

The grass roofed houses in the capital city of Torshavn are remnants of the Vikings that arrived in the 9th century, and the Faroese language is the closest Scandinavian language to Old Norse. 

The volcanic landscapes on the Faroe Islands add to the sense of stepping back into the past. 

The rock forest on the island of Mykines features jagged, geometric cliffs, and the sea is a constant presence, never far away.

Despite being located north of the United Kingdom, the Faroe Islands have a mild climate due to the Gulf Stream, and the summer days last for up to 19 hours.

Panjin Red Beach, China

Panjin (simplified Chinese: 盘锦; traditional Chinese: 盤錦; pinyin: Pánjǐn) is a prefecture-level city and a major oil production centre of Liaoning province, People's Republic of China.

It is situated on the northern coast of Liaodong Bay of the Bohai Gulf. 

It borders Anshan to the northeast and east, Yingkou across the Liao River, as well as Jinzhou to the west and northwest. 

The city has an administrative area of 4,071 square kilometres (1,572 sq mi), in which 1.28 million people reside.

Panjin is located between 40° 40'−41°27' N and 121° 31'−122° 28' E. 

It has a continental climate with four distinct seasons and some maritime influence, an annual mean temperature of 9.2 °C (48.6 °F) and receives over 2700 hours of sunshine a year. 

The city sits on the open field between the Liaodong Peninsula and the western portion of Liaoning Province. 

The Shuangtaizi River, which diverts from the Liao River upstream from the city, runs through the city and flows into the Liaodong Bay. 

The Liao River serves as the border between Panjin and the city of Yingkou. 

The two other prefecture-level cities that borders Panjin are Jinzhou and Anshan.

Major Attractions

Shuangtaihekou State Natural Reserve, a marshland that serves as natural habitat to 321 species of animals. 

It also serves as one of the few breeding grounds for endangered birds such as the red crowned crane and Saunders' Gull. 

Millions of birds of as much as 172 different species stop at the area during their migration, including more than 20 endangered species such as the red-crowned crane, 

Demoiselle Crane, white stork, black stork, white-fronted goose, whooper swan, and brown goshawk. 

On a special note, Panjin is also called "Home of the Cranes" for the above reasons.

Red Seabeach

Hubin Park in Panshan, featuring the Liaohe Tablets. 

These stone tablets bear inscriptions of Chinese calligraphy by historical and contemporary artists.

Glass Beach, California, U.S.A.

Glass Beach is a beach in MacKerricher State Park near Fort Bragg, California that is abundant in sea glass created from years of dumping garbage into an area of coastline near the northern part of the town.

In the early 20th century, Fort Bragg residents threw their household garbage over cliffs owned by the Union Lumber Company onto what is now Glass Beach, discarding glass, appliances, and even vehicles.

Locals referred to it as "The Dumps."

Fires were lit to reduce the size of the trash pile.

The California State Water Resources Control Board and city leaders closed the area in 1.967.

Various cleanup programs were undertaken through the years to correct the damage. 

Over the next several decades the pounding waves cleaned the beach, by breaking down everything but glass and pottery and tumbling those into the small, smooth, colored pieces that cover Glass Beach.

In 1.998, the private owner of the property determined that Glass Beach should belong to the public, and began a five year process of working with the California Coastal Conservancy and the California Integrated Waste Management Board for the cleanup and sale of the property to the state. 

Following completion of the clean up, the California Department of Parks and Recreation purchased the 38-acre (15 ha) Glass Beach property, and it was incorporated into MacKerricher State Park in October 2.002.

The beach is now frequently visited by tourists.

Collecting is not permitted on the park's beach, although sea glass can be found on other local beaches outside the park boundary.

A Glass Festival is held annually on Memorial Day weekend.

Thousands of tourists visit Fort Bragg's glass beaches each day in the summer. 

Most collect some glass. 

Because of this and also because of natural factors (wave action is constantly grinding down the glass), the glass is slowly diminishing. 

There is currently a move to replenish the beaches with discarded glass.

Similar beaches are found at Benicia, California and Hanapepe, Hawaii.

Several endangered and protected native plants occur at Glass Beach including hybrid Menzies’ wallflower.

Christ of the Abyss,Italy

Christ of the Abyss (Italian: "Il Cristo degli Abissi") is a submerged bronze statue of Jesus Christ, the original of which is located in the Mediterranean Sea off San Fruttuoso between Camogli and Portofino on the Italian Riviera. 

It was placed in the water on 22 August 1.954 at approximately 17 metres depth, and stands c. 2.5 metres tall. 

Various other casts of the statue are located in other places worldwide, both underwater and in churches and museums.

The sculpture was created by Guido Galletti after an idea of Italian diver Duilio Marcante. 

The statue was placed near the spot where Dario Gonzatti, the first Italian to use SCUBA gear, died in 1.947. 

It depicts Christ offering a benediction of peace, with his head and hands raised skyward.

Due to increasing amounts of corrosion and the growth of crustaceans, the statue was removed from the water and restored in 2.003. 

A hand that had been detached by an anchor was also replaced. 

The statue was returned to the water with a new base on 17 July 2.004.

A second bronze sculpture cast from the same mould exists off the coast of St. George's, Grenada. 

It was a gift of the navy of Genoa for assistance in rescuing the crew of the Italian vessel Bianca C destroyed by fire in the port of St. George's. 

The sculpture was placed under water on October 22, 1.961.

A third bronze from the original mould was presented to the Underwater Society of America in New York in 1.962. 

On August 25, 1.965 it was placed approximately in 25 feet of water off the coast of Key Largo, Florida. 

It is located around Dry Rocks, around six miles east of Key Largo in the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park. 

While the statue weighs around 260 kg, the concrete base to which it is attached weighs about 9 tons.

The original clay statue minus the hands was located in a foundry in 1.993. 

This is now on display with replacement hands at the National Museum of Underwater Activities in Ravenna, Italy.